The Do's and Don'ts of Wedding Weight Loss
How to lose weight before the big day -- and avoid 'heavier ever after'
The wedding cake, the flowers, the rings ... the personal trainer? For some
brides- and grooms-to-be, getting in shape for the big day is an important part
of wedding planning.
But could they be setting themselves up for failure? Not only do last-ditch
dieting efforts usually fail, but new research shows that married people tend
to gain more weight over the years than singles or people who are widowed or
Still, saying "I do" doesn't have to lead to a lifetime of excess
Just as getting married is a major lifestyle change, so is successful weight
loss, experts say. It's natural for brides and grooms to want to look their
best for their wedding day, and going about it the right way can make the
difference between living healthier, or heavier, ever after.
Losing Weight Before the Wedding
"I wanted to look nicer for the wedding, mostly for the pictures,"
says newlywed Donna Eck-David, who was married on April 3, 2004. She tried
watching what she ate and avoiding the cafeteria at work for months before the
big day. But she finally resorted to drinking a dieter's tea containing
laxatives a few weeks before the wedding, to speed up her weight-loss
Eventually, Eck-David says, she lost about 5-8 pounds before the ceremony --
then gained most of it back during the weeklong honeymoon cruise.
Resorting to drastic measures like fad diets or pills for quick weight loss
before a wedding may not only be dangerous, but can also set you up for a
future of yo-yo dieting rather than permanent weight loss.
Planning a wedding can be a big job for future brides (and grooms), says
Nelda Mercer, RD. If they're not getting proper nutrition, they may feel faint
or suffer other health consequences.
"It's not a good thing to stress the body at an already stressful
time," says Mercer. "It's best to plan ahead, join a health club,
exercise, get a personal trainer if needed, and see a nutritionist or
registered dietitian to set up not only a well-balanced diet, but a lifestyle
Personal trainer Sue Fleming says many women see their wedding day as the
most important day of their lives and want to look their best. "It's the
time where a lot of women finally decide to incorporate a fitness program
because of that goal," says Fleming, author of the book Buff
Wedding dresses today are sleeker and more revealing than in years past,
says Fleming, which means that the shoulders, back, and arms are usually top
areas of concern for her clients.
Fleming recommends starting a bridal "boot camp" at least six months
before the wedding that includes a balance of cardiovascular and strength
training for about an hour a day, three to four days per week. Procrastinating
brides and grooms who have less than six months to work with should plan on
spending more time in the gym.